The 9 to 5 pattern

Another factor that will certainly come into play are the tournament hours. Takeoffs begin at 9 a.m. ET with weigh-ins beginning at 5 p.m.

What does that mean for fishing strategies? Everything.

The prevailing pattern this time of year pans out best later in the day. And for the first time, the anglers will get to exploit the action as it heats up. The later, the better.

Add transitional smallmouth to all of the above equations and the sum comes up to a very different tournament scenario than in years past.